Wednesday, August 3, 2011

California Dreamin'

View from the San Clemente Pier

Last summer around this time, the hubs and I were visiting the small town of San Clemente, California. Most afternoons after spending time at the beach, we would head over to the restaurant on the pier for happy hour--one of my favorite things we had there were the fish tacos. They were the perfect accompaniment to a nice, cold cocktail and the freshness of the fish was delicious. Since we're not able to go back to California this summer, we decided to recreate those fish tacos but with a twist of our own by adding picked onions and tomatillo salsa.

Mahi-Mahi Fish Tacos
adapted from Epicurious

1/2 pound Mahi-Mahi
1 tsp. paprika
Lime zest
Olive Oil

Pickled Red Onions--recipe below
Tomatillo Salsa--recipe below
Baja Cream (equal parts sour cream and mayo with lime zest)
Corn tortillas

Season the Mahi-Mahi with salt, pepper, paprika and lime juice. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and bring to temperature. Add fish to pan and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes, or until flaky. Remove from heat and flake fish into pieces. Serve on warm corn tortillas with accompaniments and enjoy!

Pickled Red Onions

1 small red onion, halved lengthwise, cut into thin pieces
1 whole jalapeno, de-seeded and sliced thinly
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
Juice from 2 large limes, approximately 1/4 cup

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, mix to combine and marinate in refrigerator for at least 8 hours before serving.

Tomatillo Salsa

4 medium tomatillos, husked, stemmed and divided
4 green onions, white and green parts separated
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Juice from 2 large limes, about 1/4 cup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line shallow cookie pan with foil and add tomatillos, the white parts of the green onion and garlic. Roast until vegetables are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add vegetable mixture and remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse until chopped and combined.

Do you have any dishes inspired by vacation dining? I'd love to hear what food takes you back to one of your favorite vacation destinations!


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